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Thursday 23 November 2017

Independent report finds there could be another 400,000 false breath tests

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A report into wrongful road traffic convictions and false breath tests has found that their could be another 400,000 false tests on top of the 1.5m already identified.

RTÉ News is reporting that an independent report penned by Crowe Horwath is also critical of garda management for not investigating when issues first emerged.

The Policing Authority said any disciplinary or criminal matters identified should be fully pursued, in a statement included in today's report.

The report is due to be published later today.

Last night justice minister Charlie Flanagan confirmed he had received a copy of the Crowe-Howarth report and said he understands the Policing Authority will be publishing the document today .

"I welcome reciept of the report and my Department is now considering its findings and recommendations," he said.

Acting Garda Commissioner Dónall Ó Cualáin has previously apologised “unacceptable failures” in relation to both the breath test and FCPS issues after an internal Garda probe.

The Oireachtas justice committee last month heard how no Garda member has faced disciplinary action over the inflated breath test figures recorded over seven years.

Mr Ó Cualáin said any member of any rank found to have acted wrongfully on the issue would be held accountable.

He also said: “There is no evidence to suggest that anybody at management level were asking their members to falsify records.”

The committee was told that cutbacks and vacancies in the senior ranks during the recession caused supervision issues and recording issues arose with how some Gardaí called in the number of tests at a checkpoint to the Garda Information Services Centre (GISC).

Meanwhile TDs and Senators heard at the same meeting how repaying fines in the cases of 14,500 wrongful traffic convictions has cost almost €1m by the start of October.

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